Original Release Date: June 30, 2005
So, we've all seen this bit before. Use a computer's programming against it to reveal secret information, or get it stuck in a paradoxical loop, or so on. But, Stu shows some hesitation in his challenge to the robot, so he's pretty sure this is going to work, but he also knows it's a gamble. I think that, along with IRA's long internal analysis, adds some suspense and makes it work.
I think this is a really good page, overall. The only downside is that Evil Bad Guy Ninja is still hitting us over the head with this IRA bit. But Mike and Stu's banter is fun, particularly Mike's lack of confidence, and IRA's dialogue bouncing back and forth between analysis and threats makes it seem unpredictable and unstable. Also, the IRA renderings here are nice. At the time, I'd recently discovered varying thicknesses of line and using different pens in different situations. The first panel is a good example of this--that shot of IRA is way more dynamic than it would have been a year prior. It seems genuinely threatening.